Dear Pastor Ron:
What really is the big issue about the Sabbath (Saturday) and the Sunday, the Roman Catholic day of worship which most churches follow? Isn’t God pleased with worship regardless of the day?
Dear reader, it is true that God is happy with worship of Him anytime; it is equally true that we can worship God any day, and that God will be amenable to that. However, when it comes to selecting a permanent day of special worship every week, then we have to check whether God has already selected such a day for humanity to specially dedicate to Him in worship and praise.
And what we do with this knowledge will determine how our relationship to God and to His instructions develops. This has serious implications. For if God tells us that we ought to keep the seventh day, Saturday, holy and we do differently, then we will find ourselves opposing God. It is clearly stated in the Bible that, in Genesis 2:1-3, and Ex. 20:8 and Acts 13:42, 44, the seventh day, the Saturday today, is the Sabbath of the Lord our God. We also know that God’s ancient people were punished for rebelling against God. They were eventually rejected as God’s appointed means to bring humanity back to godliness.
What some people might not realize, is that one of those rebellions was the actual desecration of the Sabbath, God’s day of rest. Here is what Nehemiah says to the Jews that returned from the Babylonian captivity and who continued to disregard the Sabbath: “Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? 18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath”. Neh. 13:17, 18.
And in the NT we read that at the end of time God will have a people who keep His commandments; and the fourth commandment of His Law is to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Revelation 12:17 and 14:12. So in both divisions of the Scriptures God is calling us to faithfulness in the keeping of the right day for worship. Now some readers might disagree with me and say it does not matter which day is kept; but such a response has to be weighed not against what I say, but what God says. And we are told in Acts 5:29 that it is our duty to obey God rather than man (when man’s laws conflict with God’s moral laws).
King Saul learnt this lesson too late to save his kingship. Read it in 1Sam 15:22. Let us not be like king Saul. So, my friends, the Sabbath is a big issue for God. God is very particular as to how we follow His guide not only for living our individual lives, but for how we worship Him. If you disagree with Him then talk to Him about it. Ask Him to show you that He is right. God loves us so dearly that He will take time in His busy schedule to show us why He asks for the seventh day and not the first day. May we all have the determination to trust Him and obey Him. God bless you all.
Pastor Ron Henderson is a Seventh-day Adventist pastor in central Alberta, Canada. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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